Community Water Governance In Lower Thiba Sub-Catchment, Kenya

  • Sarah Wagatwe Wangechi University of Nairobi
  • Mutembei Henry M'IKiugu Department of Clinical Studies, University of Nairobi
  • Geoffrey Kironchi Kironchi Department of Land Resource Management, University of Nairobi
Keywords: governance, compliance, water use, sub-catchment, Lower Thiba


Effective water governance ought to involve the manner in which allocative and regulatory politics are exercised in the management of water resource, and should embrace the formal and informal institutions by which authority is exercised. In Lower Thiba Sub-catchment of Kenya, slightly over 70% of the population in the area depend on water for irrigation purposes. This study explored how the existing legal instruments and institutions affect water governance in the area. Data was collected from 361 respondents using questionnaires, 9 key informant interviews, 5 focus group discussions, as well as direct observations. The data were analyzed through descriptive statistics using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) Software. The results showed that 87% (P≤0.05) of the respondents were aware that they need to protect water resources, though only 50% reported a supportive attitude. This can be explained by the fact that river water is accessible throughout the year to most farmers, hence the need to conserve water is not urgent. 76% of the respondents were aware of existing water sector government institutions and rules in existence. Awareness of the water sector laws was at 68% while compliance to the same was at 80% (P≤0.05). Low awareness level of the public at 65% and weak enforcement from the regulators (20%) were cited as major reasons for non- compliance to the existing water rules. Main enforcement agencies were the water committees at 50% (P≤0.05), formed from water users associations in the area. In all, 56% of the respondents felt that the existing legal and institutional frameworks governing water were effective. Only 51% were members of community water institutions, with WRUA having the highest membership of 44% across the sub-catchment. Based on the findings, the study concluded that there is need for strengthening community involvement in water governance, enhancing capacity building to the surrounding community, and enforcement of water conservation and management laws within the sub-catchment.

How to Cite
Wangechi, S., M’IKiugu, M., & Kironchi, G. (2023). Community Water Governance In Lower Thiba Sub-Catchment, Kenya. Journal of Sustainability, Environment and Peace, 5(1), 109-118.